What is blue light?
Light exists on a spectrum of energy releasing waves. Shorter wavelength results in more energy emitted by the light. Light is given colors based upon the wavelength and amount of energy in that light. Blue light has a short wavelength, meaning that it releases a lot of energy. It is actually one of the most high energy types of light that we are exposed to.
While blue light is good in moderation, unfortunately our eyes are exposed to a high amount of blue light each and every day. Blue light exists in sunlight, LED lighting, and electronic screens. The blue light from the sun is actually the reason that the sky looks blue! Blue light from the sun is essential for setting our internal clocks and regulating our sleep time. However, too much blue light can cause damage to the eyes. With blue light constantly surrounding us due to technology, we are getting too much of a good thing.
Blue lights in technology
In this day and age technology is everywhere. It is a rarity to spend an evening without the screen of a cellphone, tablet, or television. All of these screens emit high energy blue light. Prior to these technologies, we were only exposed to blue light during sunlight hours. This allowed our internal clocks to regulate easily. Now that we spend our evenings exposed to blue light as well, our bodies produce less melatonin, which disrupts our internal clock and makes sleeping more difficult. Additionally, prolonged exposure to blue light, such as sitting at a computer all day for work, can lead to eye strain and eye fatigue. Blue LED lights both as light sources and as backlighting for technology can be damaging to the eyes.
Block blue light
Blocking blue light is an important step to protecting your eyes against blue light’s damaging energy waves. There are a few different ways to go about blocking blue light. There are blue blocking glasses and blue light screen filter options for your phone and television to minimize the amount of blue light actually reaching your eyes.
Best blue blocking lenses
There are many different blue light blocking eyeglasses on the market that protect your eyes from harmful blue light. This website offers helpful information for testing the quality of your blue light blocking lenses both before and after purchase. Before purchasing blue blocking lenses be sure to get information from the manufacturer about the transmittance spectrum of the glasses. This will give you more information about how much blue light is truly being blocked. Most blue light blocking eye glasses are meant for indoor use, as UV blocking sunglasses are a more common solution for outdoor blue light exposure.
Blue light screen filter
When it comes to cell phones and computers, there are actually many apps that you can install that will tint your screen and filter out blue light. Twilight is a highly recommended app for blocking blue light on cell phones. If you would prefer not to download an app, there are also blue light filters that go on phones and computers like screen protectors. These transparent panels are attached the the screen and filter out the blue light.
CNN published information in 2016 indicating that Americans spend an average of nearly 11 hours looking at screens daily. Factor in the amount of time spent in sunlight as well, whether it be leisure time or commute, and you’ve got a lot of blue light exposure each and every day. It is important to take steps to protect your eyes from excessive blue light exposure with screen filters, blue light blocking apps, or blue light blocking glasses.